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Here is the new video. Shot this in Northern California, by the Feather River behind my grandparents’ house, and in Hopland up in the hills.

This song has been around with me for a long long time. I probably wrote it more than ten years ago. Unlike some songs from that era it has aged well, ie. I’m not embarrassed by it.

I don’t know how it never ended up on an album or fully produced. It’s a perfect example of a thing that works well in a room with people and flat/not quite alive on album…

I’d tell you what it’s about but doesn’t that always ruin a song? I will tell you there is a lot of church related imagery in there. Clearly growing up Catholic and an altar boy invaded my subconscious and probably will give me songs by the bucketful forever. Because? Because church is the imperfect institution, the fallible middleman? Because church is metaphor for society? Church can be metaphor for any thing in our lives be it music or art or love or nature? Because because because. Whatever it is to you.

Without further ado!

So, if you read the post I wrote pre-show that was a major spoiler as I quite clearly blew the secret that I would perform an Elliott Smith song.

And believe me I had every intention of recording the actual live performance but among all the moving parts of playing my show I forgot to press record. Alas. You had to be there.

So last night I figured I’d record the songs I played live since my camera crew (myself) blew it so bad. This way you can imagine I’m playing a huge arena… although a cozy brick walled room with loads of friends and listeners in the heart of Silver Lake was, I think, much better.

I’ll post more songs from the set in the coming little while, even trying to get them on the podcast first to give you subscribers your due priority!

Let me know what you think of the cover. It’s such a fine line with songs you love… you want to show your love, but you really don’t want to disrespect them by ruining them either.

This one is all yours now. Just an impromptu recording I decided to do as I was working on mixing for my upcoming albums.

This one is a little rare for me in that the bittersweet-ness (not new) is mixed with a little mean-ness (new!)…

Backstory? Hmmm. Well I just wrote it quickly after going through an old box of memories and realizing that some states of mind are better left behind as far as possible… It’s good to forgive and to move forward but sometimes too it’s good to expunge and exonerate yr own feelings.

Wrote this song a few days ago. Been playing cello again a lot, and wanted to create something using this arpeggiating technique across the strings (string players… what is the technical term for this? Can’t remember!)

Lyrically it carries the same theme as the rest of “The Faraway”. Journeys, changes, destinations.

Funny how I thought that the lyrics for this were just absolutely impossible. I banged my head against my lyric book for a couple days, recorded several scratch tracks of improvised lyrics and then walked away. When I came back it wasn’t garbage anymore, at least not when stitched together.

The real reason I made this was because I wanted to test out my GoPro Jaws Flex Clamp. It’s so simple, yet super brilliant for capturing live music. It worked! Now I just need to get like five more and clamp them everywhere.

I’ve put up a new video off of REDWOOD SUMMER.

It takes a simple performance of the song You Can Get Far and layers a whole year of photos (I take a lot of photos) streaming over the top of it. It’s cool for me, I hope for you too… all the places and people flying along… I thought it fit the song well.

Enjoy!

Right now I’m putting together new material while promoting REDWOOD SUMMER, preparing for some new recordings. In that vein I’m broadcasting somewhat regularly over at ustream.tv. You’ll notice that it’s very casual, and is not meant to be taken as a performance or anything like that. But it’s a cool thing to broadcast live. And soon I’ll schedule some “concerts” and let you know when I actually have the material together.

You can watch the videos (and notice that I’m still trying to figure out the camera angle πŸ˜‰ at
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/practicing-cello-vocals-chaos

Also, those will be uploaded to the YouTubes, where you can make them viral and whatnot. Β Or just subscribe to the channel. And leave me comments. I like to know you’re out there!

Alright, enjoy, take care, more music to come…

Alela’s beautiful new album ‘To Be Still’ is due to be released February 17, 2009. I’m planning on playing with Aaron Ross at her cd release party in Portland, Feb 15th…

She’s been getting a lot of well deserved attention lately. Here’s a pitchfork post of her new video… I play a little cello on this track…

So this song is totally flooding your inbox now if you are subscribed to the podcast. I had a delay in my website being working, so, thanks to Tyler Booth at Stephouse.net, things are back in action!

Now that I’m playing these songs out live a lot, the recording of the new album is coming along… more to come, but for now, Candle:

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What you hear/see in this practice session is two beatboxes, one cello, effects on the cello, and the vocals. This song was writ about two months ago… part of the new batch. This is all live, just the mic on the camcorder (not the most perfect performance but you know… honest πŸ˜‰

I’ve been trying to keep a fresh supply of new material up here on the site but wow it has been a busy time!

Also I’m in a period of transition, where I’m really figuring out my new sound right now: By putting this restriction that everything that goes onto the new album must be able to be done live, it has raised the bar. I now have multiple beatboxes as part of the cello/beat sound on top of that, so it’s tricky.

And it is fun to work this stuff out, I’m really excited!

Thanks for watching/listening!

Last weekend I got to play at the big church room of St. Joseph’s. Black Bear, Casual Fog, Tahiti Pehrson (Night Court), were all amazing. The sound was great, it was fun.

Here for your amusement is a video of the first song of the set, shot by Eric Lee Dickerson (thanks man), Closure…

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On my way to working out a new song for my show at St. Joseph’s the other night, I stopped and recorded a little of the process. It may end up being called “Beware Sirens”

This song will change most likely and its just a teaser… I’d love to know if YOU think it is at all interesting…

Check it!

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Here we have the video for track 1 off ‘Midnight Door’ – “Closure”.

A lot of the themes of the album come across in the video, those of motion, distance, wandering. Multiple personas and 80’s head shots are addressed as well. Subliminal messages. Birds flying in slow motion. Live footage is worked in, and all in all, it is a strong beginning to the video epic that is to be the entire album.

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